Metroid Prime is renowned for many things. The sound and music come alive in the world around you; the visuals provide striking differences from the lush Tallon Overworld to the sombre Chozo Ruins; and as you traverse the often breathtaking world, you reach those moments where, once again, Metroid Prime culminates into such fascinating experiences: the boss encounters. Some will cleverly test your new abilities while others test your wits by making you solve puzzles to take them down. Of course, there are those that simply test your strength in combat. Overall, Metroid Prime hosts quite a variety of bosses, and over the years they’ve proven to be some of the best fights we’ve seen in a Metroid game.
But how does each fight stack up against the other? Inspired by a recent episode of the Omega Metroid Podcast, I’ve decided to find out. Let’s take a look below at my ranking of the bosses of Metroid Prime.
10. Hive Mecha
There’s a reason this one sits at the bottom of the list. The Hive Mecha is a nuisance. In its first phase, War Wasps swarm around you, faster than usual. One or two occasionally stop and attack, but if you miss the moment to strike, you’ll have to wait for the next round. In my recent playthrough, I did learn that you can utilize the radar to better deal with them, but regardless they continue to be nuisance.
Each time you clear a wave of wasps, you get a brief moment to strike at the hive itself. It’s unsatisfying to say the least. Eventually the structure falls to your onslaught and you acquire the beloved missiles, but it’s a fight not worth the effort.
Sheegoth arrives at a vital moment in Prime. Just as the Wave Beam is within your grasp, it’s taken away, hidden beneath the chapel’s floors. And just as your new upgrade fades from existence, a small wave of Baby Sheegoth emerges. They require some manoeuvring to take down, maybe even a missile or two, but nothing too drastic. But then comes the vastly larger, Sheegoth.
If this is your first encounter, you’ll likely try a variety of tactics, particularly keeping your distance from this beast. Unfortunately, that will prove useless. Much like the Plated Beetle, you need to lure it into performing a particular attack–the ice breath. After performing this attack, the Sheegoth becomes vulnerable in the mouth. From there, you simply blast away. It’s actually a bit disappointing considering the tactics required to defeat its smaller brethren. And once you discover the weakness, it simply becomes a waiting game.
Although the boss looks menacing and even enters the stage blasting through a wall, the final battle winds up a bit dull.
8. Plated Beetle
The Plated Beetle, like Sheegoth, has a slight advantage over the other encounters in Prime. At the start of the fight, you have to fend off a small wave of baddies that give you a taste of what’s to come. The beetles are nothing new at this point, but blasting away the swarm is satisfying none-the-less. And as you strike down the final bug, the Plated Beetle makes its appearance.
It isn’t a complicated fight, but it’s not as straightforward as simply mashing the A-button. You have to lure the beetle into charging at you. From there, you can strike at its weak point in the rear. Again, it’s nothing new here, but as an early boss fight, I don’t expect anything overly-complicated. There is the occasional annoyance of side-stepping too soon–causing the beetle to return to its neutral state, but the fight itself doesn’t last long. In fact, a well placed missile will do the job.
7. Parasite Queen
As you near the end of your tour through the Frigate Orpheon, you encounter the Parasite Queen. She crawls onto the stage; a strange monstrosity created by the space pirates. The Parasite Queen is the first boss you encounter in Metroid Prime. You wouldn’t expect much from it in that sense, and yet it’s a fun fight. She has only a single attack, but the fight proves to be a tutorial, teaching you the mechanics of combat. You learn target locking and strafing. And if you’re clever enough, you can uncover the bonus of using the Scan Visor to unlock a special means of finishing her off more quickly. Overall, it’s a simple encounter, but it delivers what the developers intended.
6. Incinerator Drone
The Incinerator Drone is an example of the Hive Mecha done right. The wasps are back, but this time they attack at a more manageable pace. Additionally, the arena not only gives you an opportunity to move around, it’s a necessity as the Drone throws flames at you left and right.
There’s actually quite a bit to manage here. Of the early bosses, the Drone provides a nice variety of mechanics you need to manage. The wasps float around as a distraction while you’re challenged with dodging the flames circulating around the room. And finally what comes as brief moments, you strike at its core. Like the Parasite Queen, it’s a fun fight and well positioned at 6.
Thardus is an interesting fight for sure. It looks awesome, has a variety of attacks, and requires quite a bit of skill on your part to take down. It’s a fight I always look forward to; however, every time I get about half way through his health I’m checked out. Few bosses overstay their welcome in Prime 1, and unfortunately, Thardus is one of them.
Despite his arsenal of attacks, his gimmick is rather simple. Use the visor to locate the attack spot, and fire away. Rinse and repeat. Yes, you can take advantage of the Super Missiles to speed up the onslaught but it’s never quite enough to satisfy the repetitiveness of his weakness. I will say though, his lightning strikes look absolutely amazing–it’s still incredible just how well this GameCube game has held up over the years. But never-the-less, I can’t help but put Thardus at number 5.
4. Meta Ridley
If only Ridley would stay in the fight. There’s a lot that goes right in this battle, but his constant fleeing is no doubt what holds it back. I can’t tell you how many times in this fight he makes his motion to fly off and I yell at the TV, “oh come on!” Despite his tendency to leave the battlefield, however, it is still a fun fight. Those moments in the 1st phase where he stomps down on the arena and that grizzly metallic sound goes off is awesome.
Of course, Ridley truly shines in his 2nd phase. His wings melt away and the two of you are finally head to head. You’ve got quite a bit to keep in mind here. He has his flame attack you have to leap over. He’ll swipe and charge at you. And of course there’s that damned tail which I invariably forget as I’m sure the developers intended.
One thing that’s always rewarding for me in this one, is when I time the charge shot just as he charges at you, triggering his major weak spot. It’s one of the moments in a fight that just feels good and I’m glad to see it. Overall, Meta Ridley is a great fight. His 1st phase can get tiring for sure, but I can’t help but put it at #4.
Flaahgra always strikes me as the first true boss of Metroid Prime. At this point you’ve faced an introductory boss as well as a few mini-bosses, but Flaahgra no doubt overshadows those that came before it.
Here, your mobility, dexterity, and puzzle solving skills are all put to the test. Not only do you have to manage the onslaught of Flaahgra’s variety of attacks, you have to quickly deflect the mirrors giving you the moment to truly do some damage. And just as you finish your struggle, stunning him long enough to complete three mirrors, the seriousness of the situation kicks in as you discover you need one more final strike from deflecting all four mirrors.
The battle against Flaahgra is fantastic and well deserving of #3.
2. Metroid Prime
The pinnacle fight, Metroid Prime. It’s a solid end to a fantastic game, but I can’t quite put it at #1. The 1st phase is a bit of a slot machine sort of gimmick. The color will roll to something different: Yellow, Red, Purple, or White. Change your weapon and fire away. It’s not a complicated fight by any means, but when you use your full arsenal, there’s some nice moments here.
When Prime stops on yellow, it’s so satisfying to land those Super Missile shots. You can literally see its health fade away. And when compared to even a charge shot, you know you’re doing some serious damage. Then there’s the Wave Buster. You want to talk about satisfying, lock it onto Prime and watch your missile counter drop. Yes, you’re spending a lot of missiles, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t hitting their mark. Of course you can also freeze Prime when it hits white or throw some good ole plasma shots when it turns red though those don’t quite hit home for me like the other two. It’s also quite satisfying when you roll through the arena’s trenches to avoid those charge attacks; another nice touch to help keep you on your toes.
Finally, we come to Prime’s final form. Here, we get nice visuals and good feels more than we do a fight, but it wraps up the overall battle nicely. There’s only a single attack to avoid, and some occasional Metroid’s to dispatch. Ultimately, you stand in the ever-so-convenient pools of Phazon and unload your Hyper Beam. Prime winces in agony as you shred it to pieces. Even the smaller Metroid’s don’t stand a chance against your ultimate attack.
The 2nd phase isn’t hard, though I never complain considering the battles that took place just prior. It is, however, fun and sometimes that’s what counts. And so Metroid Prime lands at #2.
1. Omega Pirate
The Omega Pirate is a fantastic fight. It’s intense, and it throws everything it can at you. The boss itself is huge–if Thardus had a big brother, this would be it. You’ve got pools of Phazon keeping you aware of your surroundings. Reinforcements occasionally arrive, giving you some variety while the Omega refreshes its health–and yeah, it refreshes its health.
Speaking of Thardus actually, what stands out for me in this fight is how similar the two are, except that the Omega is paced much better. Just like Thardus, you hunt out minor weak spots to expose a primary source of damage. From there, you smack the heck out of it. In this fight, however, the weak spot is always at the core and unblocked by constant moving around. This means you can more easily take advantage of Super Missiles, eliminating the likeness of the rinse and repeat that Thardus suffers.
There is the slight issue of attack variety here. The attacks that Omega throws at you are a bit limited; however, I do think the variety from the arena itself and reinforcements help fill that gap considerably. You’re very much being tested on managing your surroundings here rather than avoiding attacks from a single enemy. You have to be wary of the pools of Phazon all the while eliminating minor foes while still preventing the Omega from replenishing its health. It’s a lot to keep in mind, and enough in the fight for me to put this at #1.
And there you have it! My final ranking for the Metroid Prime 1 bosses. What do you think? Should the Omega Pirate stand at #1? Let us know what you agree and disagree with in thecomments below!
Daniel is a Website Reporter for Omega Metroid and an avid fan of the Metroid series. You can find me most places as AFallenApple.